Saturday, November 1, 2008

Your own personal blue-collar Jesus

I've been fairly obsessed with politics ever since I can remember, but even I'm getting a little burned out at this point in the campaign. I've already voted absentee, so all I can do now is poll watch and try not to get too stressed out.

And yet, here I am, trolling the Internet the day after Halloween for any insight into the presidential election that I haven't seen before. That can lead you to some strange, unexpected places, like the Blue Collar Jesus blog. Yes, that's what it's called. (Please note that I am not an evangelical Christian. My religious "devotion" is primarily confined to attending the occasional lecture at the San Francisco Zen Center, rooting for Notre Dame on Saturdays, and wishing the Sisters of St. Joseph were still running a school on Franklin Avenue.)

Anyway, I thought the site, and this particular post, offered a few interesting ideas about some Flint voters and the confluence of race and religion in this election. After all, if anyone is going to believe in a pro-labor, blue-collar Jesus, it would be a Flintoid.

"Popular evangelicals do not have a coherent ideology. They are often be conservative on social issues and very liberal on economic issues. They possess orthodox theological beliefs but progressive politics, but there are no forums or role models for expressing this. However, recent successes among socially conservative Democrats may be creating political space for these folks.

"When it comes to racism there are two strategies. The professional evangelicals fuel racism on the issue of immigration. Or they divert attention from the shared economic self-interests of working class whites and African Americans by substituting a vision of racial cooperation based on social issues, such as gay marriage.

"Working class evangelicals cannot see Obama as a blue collar son because of what they hear the professional evangelicals saying about him: Elitist, militant, liberal, socialist, Muslim. Scratch the surface and these words reveal a deeper racist message: Obama is the Anti-Christ with an afro.

"The great untapped truth is that white, working class evangelicals share a common economic and spiritual connection with the black church. Both benefit from progressive economic policies. And they sing the same hymns. The long history of American evangelicalism bears this out."

Again, I'm not endorsing a religion or a candidate with this post. Just thought it was a thought-provoking take on this momentous election.

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at